Rev Matching? Not So Much. - 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Long-Term Road Test
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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon Long Term Road Test

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2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon: Rev Matching? Not So Much.

October 25, 2011

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I'm not sure why, but Acura didn't make any real effort to offer rev-matched downshifts in the TSX Sport Wagon. So what, exactly, is this paddle for?

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This is an odd choice. After all, it says "Sport" right there in the car's name. Did you catch that? S-P-O-R-T. It's right after "TSX" and right before "Wagon."

Ironically, Acura calls the transmission in this car a "SportShift 5-speed Automatic." But it doesn't match revs on downshifts. I contend that rev-matched downshifts are necessary for any car that has paddle shifters on its steering wheel. Their very presence encourages a driver to tap down a gear or two entering a corner. But when those requests are met with a drivetrain lurch -- or nothing at all -- the paddles become mere decorations.

And I'm not talking about downshifts that would over-rev the engine. No, there's an obvious middle ground in the tranny's wide gear spacing between over-revving and making a pointless downshift -- one that leaves the engine below the speed at which it makes meaningful power. The TSX is guilty of both of the above charges. It regularly ignores downshift requests it deems too aggressive or it grabs a lower gear with a heavy lurch which upsets the chassis unnecessarily.

It's a frustrating state of affairs for anyone hoping to drive this car with, well, "sporting" intentions.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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